Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Vids

This about 5 minutes of Jack opening his first presents. I had more footage from throughout the day but it seems to have disappeared.

This is a little bit later on in the day. I took this on my phone, which is why it hasn't disappeared.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Cleaning with a Superhero

It's Christmas which means it's time to tidy. With the eminent arrival of visitors and new assets we always spend Christmas week tidying the house up. Mostly we go through and throw away everything that we can bare to lose.

Yesterday we got to the living room, which as the main room in the house it's usually the most untidy. Jack and I started by tidying up his toys. Within a few minutes we'd located a my ski goggles, which he'd adopted a few days before. I suddenly found myself cleaning along side Speedy-boy, a very fast running and talkative protector of all that is good and tidy. I got various demonstrations of his speed, mostly running back and forth to the kitchen, and I got a little singing as well.

After speeding off to show Mommy his new persona he flashed back into the living room to help me tidy. He'd grown tired of the name Speedy-boy and announced that he's changed it.

It's time to get serious, Faster-boy and Cleaning-Daddy are here!

I'd been side-kicked by a 3 year old.

Faster-boy was just as fast but less talkative than his alter-ego but he was more interested in the job at hand. He requested jobs to do and he more or less completed them all. Afterwards he settled on the chair and supervised until another metamorphosis got the better of him.

Daddy I'm not Faster-boy anymore I'm Zoomin-boy.

This hero is more of the hand-off type of hero. He sits back and watches TV while the side-kick does all the work.

Toward the end we had a combination of all three, he made his way up the stairs where he nearly me met his end due to a brain infecting monster.

I made some recordings. It's not hugely clear but I tried.

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Barnacles Game.

Jack has made up a new game, he calls it the Barnacles game. He and Mommy were hiding on the bed when he offered to teach me how to play it, so naturally I grabbed a video camera.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Footprints in the snow.

Jack and I took Bruno out for a walk around the block, with his recent surgery we've been restricted to keeping him on the lead for a few days.

It snowed a little last night and while we were walking Jack admired the many footprints left on the sidewalks. He kicked and stepped in them as we walked until we turned around to head back home.

Daddy, where did those footprints come from?
People left them here when they went out walking, just like we're doing now.
Can we find people that left them?
No, they've gone home or wherever they were going by now.
Look at all these great footprints they left for me to step in. And I steppin in then. STEP STEP STEP.
They're pretty good.
Are we leaving footprints?
Yes we are, just look.

We stopped and I pointed out several of our footprints.

Can you make a footprint now so I can see?

I found a clear spot and pressed my shoe into the snow then carefully lifted it out again to make sure the footprint was nice and clear. Jack squatted down to get a closer look. After a quick examination he stood up and looked at me.

That's terrible. That's a terrible footprint Daddy.

As we walked home be carried on muttering to himself about the quality of my footprint.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming and Jack is getting excited. Every morning we do the advent calendars, we have three. Jack is most impressed by the chocolate calendar but he likes the others as well. Helen counts down the days and tries to get him excited but once he's got the chocolate or lego toy (thanks Mom) he's pretty much tuned out.

It's hard to say exactly how much of the holiday he understands, Jack seems to struggle with anything that's not here and now, the only thing that I know he understands for certain is that Christmas means presents.

Jack loves presents, his birthday was a bit of a wash-out because he was ill so we're all looking forward to him opening his Christmas presents. Packages are arriving almost every day now and Jack is dying to know what's in them. We try to explain to him that we can't open them because they're for Christmas or because the recipient is in the room but he simply won't have it. He loves secrets, present and surprises and having to wait for Christmas just seems ridiculous.

Jack helped his Nanny set up her Christmas tree today. When I arrived to pick him up he took me right to it and told me about the lights.
There are lights, look. First I didn't like that Christmas tree, but now I do. I changed my mind. Now it's GREAT!

On the way home Jack gawked at all the lights strung on various houses. Jack loves Christmas light, he's liked them since last year when we took him with us to Blackpool to see the illuminations. Rectangular lights are his favorite, so he told me on the way home. Not blue, or twinkly or glowing Santas nope, rectangular...

Santa is also big in his mind this year. I remember believing in Santa clause, I'm one of few people that doesn't remember the day or reason they stopped believing. I do remember being confused why Santa always seemed so different every time I saw him and thinking it was weird that he was doing such a heavy PR schedule so close to his big day. I remember hearing noises in the hallway one night and sneaking out of my room to see Mom and my brothers setting out the presents for morning and not being surprised by it in the least, for me Santa just seems to have dwindled away.

Jack is a firm believer, at least in one aspect of Santa's role. We've been to see two separate Santas and so far and he's reacted to them both in the same way. He's all talk until he gets up close, then it's all muttering and whispering so quietly that you can barely hear him. The first Santa he mumbled some of his list with a little prompting from Helen, then waved politely for the camera and made off with his sweets. With the second Santa he was a little bolder.

"Have you been a good boy this year Jack?"
Yes I'm a good boy, can I have a present?" Jack had noticed the huge piles of presents stacked up behind Santa.
"Is there anything in particular that you want Santa to bring you this year?"
I'd like one of those presents, and a biiiig bike with a ladder so I can climb on.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Take this toy.

The other night Jack and I had a problem with bed time. Helen was out at a concert so we were on our own, which is pretty typical for a Tuesday night.

7 o'clock rolled around so Jack and I prepared for his bed time with his usual routine, we always let him take 1 toy of his choice to bed with him as it helps distract him from the scary darkness. This time it was Star Wars. Star Wars is a McDonald's R2D2 toy that he's acquired with his Nanny that very afternoon, so it was no surprise that it was the bed time choice. The toy projects a red light on the wall showing a picture of some of the Star Wars characters. There's a little dial on the back that changes the picture.

Bed time went as usual, wash, story, wee and goodnight. About 7:30 Jack called me up.
What is it?
I can't find Star Wars
Jack you know I don't like coming up for toy related problems.
I know, don't take it away, just find it. I can't find it.

As I often do I gave him 1 freebee and located the toy in his tangle of blankets. On my way out of his room I reminded him that if I had to come up again for a toy problem I was taking the toy. Jack agreed and I went back downstairs.

Another 30 minutes passed, I could hear jack upstairs waging war on the other toys in his room, when he called me again.
Go to sleep please.
Daddy I can't find him again.
Jack if I come up there I'm just going to take him away
There was silence for a minute. Here he is.
Go to sleep Jack.

Another 30 minutes passed and the war raged on. It was 8:30ish by this point and usually when he's up for this long it means that the real fun is about to start. I'd decided by this point that projector toys to not make good bed fellows. As I readied myself to go upstairs and bring an end to the war he called me up again.
Daddy. his tone was different this time. There was an element of impatience in there somewhere. Already prepared to do so, I headed straight up to his room.
What is it?
I can't find him again. I thought this a bit odd as Star Wars was sat on the floor in front of his bed. I picked it up and prepared to explain to him that I was taking it with me this time and why. You can take it away now.
I want you to take it away now... please. A little flabbergasted, I had to ask.
What's wrong with it?
I don't like it anymore. Take it away.
Ok. Why don't you like it?
Because it makes this picture now and I don't like it. I pushed the button to make it project, a picture of an Ewok appeared on the wall and Jack hid under his blanket. It's too scary.

I kissed him good night and headed back downstairs, the offending toy in hand. I thought about what had taken place and was impressed by Jack's use of the system to get what he wanted, I must remember this for when he's about 13. Jack fell asleep within the next ten minutes. I set the toy on the table and Jack's not touched it since.

I guess it is a somewhat grim looking picture if I'm honest.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The Sand Castle Cycle.

I stumbled across this video when I was trying to make space on my tapes. It's from our holiday to Cornwall I think. It made me laugh because Jack loves making sand castles, whenever we go near a beach he's demands that we go make them.

Build, smash, repeat.

The Dragon and Ghost in the Monster Village

I've decided to start recording some of the conversations that Jack and I have. It's a lot easier to do than filming him and I can do it without him knowing.

So today I started recording and pretty soon Jack asked for a story. The story remains unfinished because we were interrupted by the arrival of our lunch. But it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Wrong Night for a Bad Dream.

Jack is usually a very good sleeper. We put him to be at 7 and more often than not he’s asleep within an hour and will stay that way until around 6:30. Now, what might surprise you to hear is that he doesn’t actually sleep during this time. He dies. Nothing and I mean nothing will wake him up. Jack has a rail on the side of his bed to prevent him from falling out. Not because it would wake him up, but because he’s be grouchy all day after sleeping on a cold floor.  If for any reason you attempt to wake Jack you’ll be at it for half an hour at least. The first 15 minutes or so you’ll spend just trying to get him to some state of consciousness, after than he’ll usually cry and tantrum for the next 15 minutes until he settles in a frowney grumble where he’ll stay until you show him is good reason you have for waking him up, and it had better be good.

Last night was a bit rough. Jack was restless and wouldn’t go to sleep. After several trips up the stairs to sort out what little problems he was having we resorted to the age old technique of ignoring him completely. We listen down stairs as he fumbled around him room trying doing whatever it is that he does up there. Finally around 9 o’clock with one last thump, there was silence. Helen and I sighed and resumed our evening. At 10:30 we headed for bed, true to our nightly ritual we check on Jack, usually it’s just to cover him up, he often falls asleep on top of his quilt or in other various positions. We right him, cover him, kiss him and leave. Last night we found out what that final thump had been when we saw him, the lower half of his body was on the bed, the upper half was dangling diagonally and his head was wedged against his wardrobe holding it all in place. I should have taken a picture. This is usually an indicator that we’re in for a rough morning as well.

This morning Jack woke up a little early, he’s scared to leave his room while it’s still dark so he just calls us from bed.

Jack it’s too early, wait until your sun comes up.
Mommy, I had a bad dream.

Having come across this tactic before Mommy stood her ground.

Go back to sleep honey, it was just a dream.

We didn’t hear anything else from him so we all went back to sleep. 7 o’clock passed, 7:30 passed and we heard nothing. His sun comes up at 7 and he never misses it. Conscious of time we decided we’d better rouse him. Helen went in his room to find him sat up in bed, looking like he’d just that second woke up and not looking very happy. She brought him into our room where he started sobbing about the bad dream.

I had a bad dream about nursery, and I was there, and then you showed up. And then you were gone and I was still there forever.
It was just a dream Jack, we’d never leave you anywhere.

After some cuddles and reassuring words Jack asked what day it was. At some point each morning Jack will ask what day it is, because he knows that certain days of the week means he’ll be doing certain things. We told him it was Thursday… He looked at me in hope and asked if that meant he went to Nanny’s. I shook my head and his little face fell. Thursday meant he was going to nursery.

It broke my heart to leave him there today. Jack was in tears, not his usually tantrum that we get until he sees the food and toys, but real tears, frightened tears. I told the staff about his dream and tried my best to calm him down but he was still sobbing when I left. Talk about your worst nightmares coming true. I know the girls at nursery will quickly have him calmed down, distracted and eating his second breakfast. I have no doubt that this all happened within five minutes of my departure but it’s been a long time since I left him in that kind of state. My only comfort is that not only are we both going to pick him up tonight and prove that dream wrong but we’re taking him to a Christmas evening to see Santa straight afterward.